Spain vs France: Key tactical battles « Khabarhub
Wednesday, July 24th, 2024

Spain vs France: Key tactical battles


09 July 2024  

Time taken to read : 4 Minute


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The first UEFA EURO 2024 semi-final takes place on Tuesday in Munich as Spain face France in what looks set to be a fascinating encounter.

Youth vs experience

At the moment we’re guessing that, given Spain are missing Dani Carvajal and Robin Le Normand through suspension, coach Luis de la Fuente will select Jesús Navas at right-back.

But which France player will be his direct rival? Kylian Mbappé? Ousmane Dembélé? Bradley Barcola? All are significantly younger than Navas and thrillingly quick.

Can experience and nous cope with them? It’s stuff like this which intrigues us and makes us love football, right?

Whoever he ends up against, Mbappé will be a huge figure.

When fit and firing, the France forward is arguably the most dangerous and clinical figure in world football.

He’s yet to fully stamp his authority on this tournament, but when you possess bags of talent like he does, he only needs a minute. Could that moment come on Tuesday?

How to deal with Spain’s wingmen

When football produces daring, exciting players, the eternal question is: how quickly can rivals ‘work them out’ and thus diminish their impact? I’d imagine that Didier Deschamps’ analysts have spent a good amount of time figuring out how they can – or whether they can – produce positional, marking and philosophical solutions to cope with Spain’s dynamic duo of Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams.

Jules Koundé will be well versed in the panic and consternation Williams can cause in defenders, but the Frenchman is as dependable as they come on the right flank.

He was unsettled by Portugal forward Rafael Leão on Friday, but ultimately emerged unscathed.

He’ll be buoyed by that, along with his Player of the Match contribution against Belgium, stifling another wily operator in Jérémy Doku with consummate ease.

Rodri metronomy vs Kanté chaos theory

Meanwhile, as a metronomic presence at the base of the Spanish midfield, Rodri will be expected to exert his typical influence on proceedings.

Spain’s No16 is blessed with unparalleled intelligence and positional dexterity, so Deschamps may have to mitigate, rather than eliminate entirely, this influence.

How key could N’Golo Kanté be in that exercise?

The latter has been back to his bustling best at EURO 2024, and nobody can disrupt the rhythm of an opponent like Kanté.

What do you need to know?

A mouth-watering clash between two titans of European football awaits in Munich.

Spain have lit up the tournament so far, and are the only team to win all five of their games.

They are also joint-top in number of goals (11) and top on total attempts (102) and balls recovered (230), demonstrating how impressive they have been both going forward and defensively.

“My players are insatiable,” beamed coach Luis de la Fuente after the quarter-final win over Germany.

“There’s always room for improvement, of course, but we can’t question their pride, quality and commitment.”

Standing in La Roja’s way, though, are a solid France side who have kept four clean sheets in their five matches so far.

Les Bleus are aiming for a fourth major tournament final in the last eight years (after reaching the EURO 2016 showpiece and the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals) – an incredible record which attests to their reservoir of big-game experience.

“We’re in the semi-finals and it’s something we shouldn’t take for granted, even if we may be used to it recently,” said coach Didier Deschamps after the quarter-final victory over Portugal. “Now we go to win it.”

(With inputs from UEFA.com)

Publish Date : 09 July 2024 14:16 PM

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